Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sick Beard is Sick!!

Review of Sick Beard program for Win/Mac and anything that can run Python.

Sick Beard is by far one of the coolest PVR applications out there.  If you aren't familiar with PVR applications like this one, also see:  Episode Butler

I'm not going to get into a pissing contest over which application is better, suffice to say I use Sick Beard.  Sick Beard is sick.  Need I say more?

PVR applications like Sick Beard serve some really awesome purposes:
  1. They catalog any and all existing TV content you may already have saved
  2. It organizes (moves/renames/etc) your TV content for you
  3. Adds NFO, picture, and other data files to TV content for your favorite media library
  4. Shows you any missing episodes, special features, or extras you may be missing 
  5. Shows you when the next/upcoming episodes are for your TV shows (day/time/etc)
But the best part of Sick Beard is the automation.  Sick Beard provides integration with NZB search/index and usenet downloaders (SabNZB, Newsbin, etc).  This is where the "PVR" comes in - kinda like TiVO - you tell Sick Beard what to look out for, and it takes care of the rest.
SickBeard allows you to manage TV Show downloads
You can go from TV Show name or Episode to...Fetched NZB file from search provider to...
Usenet reader download to...
File renamed, moved, and added to media library
Example of SickBeard file/folder structure after processing
Without interruption.

Three cheers for Sick Beard!!

note:  check out my other post on integrating SickBeard with Newsbin for more screenshots!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Title says it all!  The uber site NEWZBIN is back up and online!!

According to their news bulletin, there is still a lot of work to do, but here are the basics:

  • it's up and online, some folks were waiting on dns...also check your cache if you're having problems.  it's been online for a day or two now.
  • supposedly accounts and credits are getting transferred (according to their news bulletin) but I was unable to login with old credentials...YMMV
  • no payments or credits are being accepted currently
  • search and nzb download appear to be fully functional!

In summary, go get your FREAK ON over at NEWZBIN

I've always firmly believed in "getting, while the getting is good." 

Recall the legal story leading to shutdown, the liquidation, the heist of the source code...this is just one of those stories that keeps getting better, and better.

Top Free HTPC Applications

I dropped CableTV quite awhile ago, but honestly, with a HTPC (Home Theatre PC) I don't miss a thing.

Now that all the major content providers are pushing their TV on the web its much easier for folks to walk away from the CableTV bill, and still get "TV".  Nevermind HD OTA (High Definition Over-the-Air) antennas...I'm talking just web here.  There's a truckload of content out there right now.  Free.

If you have an HTPC, and/or have dropped cable and own a computer with an internet connection (preferably high speed), you should be familiar with some basic apps:
  1. XBMC
  2. Boxee
  3. Eventghost
  4. ImgBurn / DVD Decrypter

XBMC is probably one of the oldest and well known apps for HTPC it would be ashame if this were the first time you were hearing of it.  Free, open source, and it'll play just about anything.  Great UI for use with a TV, including old TV's, or new TV's.  Playing HD, SD and just about everything.  File formats galore.

Boxee is newer, but is actually based largely on XBMC (check the credits).  The key difference, I think, between Boxee and XBMC lies in the additional Boxee Apps and "social networking aspect".  Boxee is an excellent app to use for free TV.  Boxee can scrape together all the free content out there (Hulu, CBS, Fox, Comedy Central, etc) and display in one easy UI.  Very user friendly.  Very easy.  Try it.

Eventghost is small app that makes it easy to drop the keyboard and stick with a typical "TV remote".  Especially if you own a learning remote, programmable remote, or Logitech-Harmony-style remote.  With Eventghost you can basically push a button on your remote, have Eventghost "ghost" that input and perform any number of different actions on the PC.  Translated:  Hit button on remote, turn on XBMC.  Hit button on remote, turn PC on/off, etc.
ImgBurn and DVD Decrypter are probably some of the easiest and most reliable ways to rip any existing content owned on disc to the hard drive.  Add this to your library, and suddently a gigantic DVD/HDDVD/BluRay shelf full of discs becomes one neat little library of 1's and 0's on your HTPC hard drive.  Imagine your entire movie library at your fingers...

So that's it, basic 4 apps for HTPC.  And you drop CableTV.  Do it!